Robots, tillage and application equipment

Robots, tillage and application equipment

While Case IH caught a lot of attention with its robot prototype, there were other more real-world products on display at the fall shows.

Unveiled on the Case IH lot during the Farm Progress Show, and at the New Holland sister lot, was the potential future of tractor – machines that operate themselves. For Case IH, the new theme is "rethink productivity" and you'll hear a lot of that in the future. But let's look at the new tractor, and a new tillage tool unveiled at the show.

LOOK MA NO DRIVER: The cab-less robot tractor from Case IH was a show attention-grabber. The machine, which won't be available for a few years, offers potential for enhanced efficiency and productivity on the farm.

The Case IH ACV – autonomous concept vehicle – is essentially a cab-free Magnum tractor. The sleek look comes from the same designer who restyled the Case IH Optum Series tractors, and it carries that familiar look. Based on a Magnum 370 CVT, power comes from an 8.7-liter FPT Industrial Cursor 9 engine with 305 PTO hp. Top speed is 31 mph, but with the CVT it can slow to 0.018 mph for specific applications. And it has six hydraulic remotes.

The machine is controlled through a range of sensors that govern ignition, acceleration and deceleration, engine speed, steering angle, transmission controls (and while the machine has a CVT, the technology can also control a powershift transmission), rear-linkage raise/lower and engage PTO, front linkage raise/lower and engage PTO (if equipped), engagement of locking differentials and horn operation.

The operator can control the machine from a desktop computer or from a tablet in the field. You can mount a tablet in another machine enabling an operator to run one and manage another in the field.

The machine uses a variety of sensors especially to look ahead to "see" obstacles and the work at hand. The system has LIDAR, Radar and camera systems for operation and safety. The LIDAR, which stands for 'light detection and ranging' is a laser based system, not only looks ahead, but also down, so it knows how the terrain is changing. Radar also helps with obstacles and in other ways to keep the machine safely operating. And a visual camera also provides operational input.

Case IH partnered with Autonomous Solutions Inc., to develop this new system. That company has been developing autonomous tech for more than 20 years in the mining and construction industry. In a release related to the Case IH announcement, ASI founder and CEO Mel Torrie, comments: "Our relationship with CNH Industrial is vital in facilitating the near term disruption of how farming is done. We're thrilled to be working with the leaders in ag innovation to make this exciting future of driverless tractors a reality."

ASI is the long-term robotic development provider for CNH Industrial. You can learn more at

New field cultivator

Case IH may be showing off robots, but there's still work in the next season to be done. The new Tiger-Mate 255 field cultivator was shown to farmers during the show. The company says the new rig delivers a smooth surface and flat subsurface floor, which when paired with an Early Riser planter "helps producers achieve maximum yield potential by combining a high-efficiency seedbed with the ultimate in seed placement accuracy."

The new Tiger Mate 255 offers a new shank assembly for higher field speeds, with 20% more holding power than previous models. It balances force and flexibility to keep Earth Metal sweeps parallel to the ground. A split-the-middle sweep pattern combined with a 6.5-inch shank spacing provides 100% shank coverage. The high-concavity shank breaks down tough clods for more consistent residue movement. Single point hydraulic depth control for easy fine-tuning. And an optional floating hitch feature allows the machine to run independently of tractor.

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